Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Soft and Spongy Whole Wheat Buns/Pav

To think of healthy alternatives for the regular food has become more of a necessity in today's world. However, healthy food usually comes with a compromise on the taste factor. However, there are always exceptions. Today's recipe of whole wheat buns is an example of tasty healthy alternative to the regular flour buns. These buns are soft and spongy and remain such even after a day or two after baking, which is usually not the case with whole wheat buns. Just warm it and eat it and enjoy a guilt free meal.

3 cups whole wheat flour (you may add a little additional flour while kneading)
1 tbsp instant dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter, softened
75 ml warm milk (add little at a time to avoid adding additional flour)
1/2 cup warm water
1 egg
Olive oil for oiling hands and bowl

In a bowl, mix sugar in the lukewarm water and add the yeast. Make sure the water is not too cold or too hot. Else the yeast will not proof. Let it stand for about 10 minutes until frothy and bubbly and starts rising. For reference, see the picture below.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and add the softened butter, yeast mixture and egg. Start kneading the dough by adding little milk at a time. Continue kneading for about 8-10 minutes till the dough is moist but non-sticky and a finger pressed down does not come back with a bit of dough. Ensure, however, that the dough is not too dry. Lightly oil your hands and rub your hands on the dough. With a little more oil, lightly grease the bowl. Cover the bowl tightly and keep it in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled. In some cases, the dough does not rise doubly. However, if your yeast has proofed well, the buns should be soft and spongy after baking.
Once the dough has risen, line a round baking pan with parchment paper. Lightly knead the dough for 3-5 minutes, punching out the air. Do not overknead. Now take lemon sized balls and arrange on the baking sheet. Repeat for the rest of the dough. See the picture below for reference.
Cover with a cling wrap and keep it in a warm place for another hour. The balls would now be clinging to each other as shown in the picture above.
Pre-heat the oven on toast mode at 200 degree celsius. Brush the top of the buns with a little milk and bake them for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top. Take out from the oven and immediately brush a little butter on the buns. Transfer to a wire rack and keep covered with a kitchen towel for 10-15 minutes. Your soft and spongy buns are ready to be eaten. I teamed it with Mumbai style Pav Bhaji.

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